Dendritic cells (DCs) are a subset of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) that are involved in the initiation and control of the immune response to antigens present at the interface with the environment. A limited number of groups have studied DCs in human and animal conjunctiva but no data is available concerning the different DC subsets present in the conjunctival tissue. The aims of this study are to characterize the phenotypes and numbers of DCs present in the murine model of allergic conjunctivitis using the technique of immunohistochemistry so as to aid the understanding of the mechanisms involved in allergic eye disease. A double immunofluorescence method was used to analyze the phenotypic distribution and density of DC subsets in the mouse conjunctival tissues of the allergic model using a panel of antibodies: CD11c, as a general marker of DCs, coupled with another DC subset marker such as Langerin for Langerhans cells (LCs), CD11b for myeloid DCs (mDCs) and mPDCA-1 for plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs). In the naïve conjunctiva, mDCs were consistently detected in the subepithelial layer and substantia propria. In the epithelium and the subepithelial layer, very few LCs and virtually no pDCs were observed. Following allergen challenge, there was a marked influx of mDCs and pDCs, but no LCs, into the subepithelial layer and throughout the substantia propria. These results indicate that conjunctival DC subsets may play an important role in the immune-regulatory processes involved in the inflammatory component of allergic conjunctivitis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Biochemistry